Microscripts

Robert Walser (Author) Maira Kalman (Illustrator)
& 1 more
Available

Description

Robert Walser wrote many of his manuscripts in a highly enigmatic, shrunken-down form. These narrow strips of paper, covered with tiny ant-like pencil markings a millimeter high, came to light only after the author's death in 1956.At first considered random restless pencil markings or a secret code, the microscripts were in time discovered to be a radically miniaturized form of antique German script: a whole story was deciphered on the back of a business card. These twenty-five short pieces address schnapps, rotten husbands, small town life, elegant jaunts, the radio, swine, jealousy, and marriage proposals.

Product Details

Price
$24.95  $22.95
Publisher
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
November 21, 2012
Pages
160
Dimensions
6.3 X 0.7 X 8.7 inches | 1.0 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780811220330
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Robert Walser (1878-1956) was born in Switzerland. He left school at fourteen and led a wandering and precarious existence working as a bank clerk, a butler in a castle, and an inventor's assistant while producing essays, stories, and novels. In 1933 he abandoned writing and entered a sanatorium--where he remained for the rest of his life. "I am not here to write," Walser said, "but to be mad."
Maira Kalman is the illustrator of The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr, the author of My Favorite Things, Principles of Uncertainty, and the bestselling And the Pursuit of Happiness, and the author/illustrator of numerous children's books. Her artwork has graced multiple covers of The New Yorker, and her watches, clocks, accessories, and paperweights have been featured at the Museum of Modern Art store. She lives in New York City.Alex Kalman is a designer, curator, writer, and creative director. He is the founder, director, and a chief curator of Mmuseumm, a new type of museum described as curatorial genius by The Atlantic and one of the top twelve hidden art gems in the world by the New York Times T Magazine. He also published the very first ever Op-Object column in the New York Times. His artwork, films, installations, and exhibitions have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His latest project, Future Aleppo, was on exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and will open at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2018. He lives in New York City.
Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960, moved to Hamburg when she was twenty-two, and then moved again to Berlin in 2006. She writes in both Japanese and German, and has received the Akutagawa Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, and the Goethe Medal.

Reviews

The use of throwaway scraps and pencil also seems part of a deliberate espousal of the small and modest, an attention to the unnoticed, and the microscripts are, as this edition lets us see, objects of beauty, the pencillings precisely filling their allotted space, the different texts neatly fitted together on the same piece of paper like some kind of intricate insect construction whose purpose is absolutely necessary.... Walser has in recent years regained some of the status he enjoyed in the 1920s. Instead of Kafka and Benjamin, we have Sebald and Lydia Davis championing him. But we still don't know where we stand with him. Are we dealing with pure literature, the vagaries of the everyday, jokes, or empty fancies? The writing is radical and elegant enough to encompass all these possibilities and many more. Is it the stuff of life? Perhaps.
Walser vaulted new heights of expression with minuscule means.